This One Thing Makes the Difference Between Success and Failure

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When I evaluate someone’s chances of success, I look at their track record. And I look for one certain aspect of that track record. I will reveal that below.

Success in life and business – relationships, accomplishments, sports, wealth – is not dependent on education, class, connections, planning, good ideas, timing, or luck. Because even with all of these, there have to be decisions, commitment, and effort. And without persistence against the obstacles and roadblocks that we all face in life, the roadblocks that any endeavour or relationship will encounter, failure is certain. But most people quit, so what is the one thing that makes the difference between success and failure?

I think of my sister who lives in a wheelchair in a Retirement Home (actually, it’s an old age home, but many people today won’t even recognize that label because of the way our language has been shaped by Orwellian Newspeak.)

She is in constant pain and her physical state deteriorates constantly, the old age home is run by people – “Caregivers” – who hate the inmates because they’re White, the country (South Africa) is on its last legs, with rolling electricity blackout and water shortages because the power stations haven’t been maintained since Mandela took over in 1994… I could go on all day. YET she has a positive attitude and she makes the best of her life.

And before you jump to a confusion and suggest that the secret is attitude, it’s not that.

I think of a young man who has been in prison three times, who was a drug dealer and addicted first to heroin – which he overcame – then to Fentanyl – which he also overcame. He tells me it’s ten times harder to break an addiction to Fentanyl than to Heroin. He has an amazing attitude, he’s hard working, a good listener, and successful in his relationships and his work.

Then there’s Winston Churchill. Few people know much about him, how many times he cheated death, the obstacles he overcame, or what he accomplished. Watch this video for more information. Read the book. I did. He said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Did you know that Churchill went into No Man’s Land on thirty occasions – when he didn’t have to? That is gallantry.

That is the quality I look for – a track record that reveals courage. That is what sets the winners apart from the whiners. That is what overcomes arrogance and surrender. Courage is what helped Viktor Frankl survive Auschwitz; read his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s what made this woman survive the Ravensbrück death camp.

That’s what defines the champions. It makes them empathetic, patient and kind because it gives them confidence and focus. I look for courageous individuals in a world that is infected with gutless wonders who talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. Brave people tell the truth. They don’t compromise or appease, and they don’t depend on the acknowledgment or acceptance of others. They persist. They stand up for what they believe in, and they don’t quit. My Dad went on 83 bombing raids in 100 days during World War Two. The average lifespan for a gunner in one of those bombers was 5 raids. He was a true warrior throughout his life.

Finally, being a courageous mass murderer is not a good thing. One’s values should be a given, and if they are Christian values, Godly values, true success will come. My wife is the most valiant person I know. The picture above shows her and a fearless friend.

Robin Elliott

 

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Comfort for All is Found Here

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This beloved psalm has deep meanings. We know that a true shepherd will go after the lost sheep. And we know that, at the time of writing, Davis was, indeed, surrounded by his enemies. We also know that “Thy rod and your staff, they comfort me,” makes a connection between discipline and grace; the rod was used to discipline the sheep that wander too far from the safety of the Shepherd and the flock, as well as to fight off dangerous wild animals and predators. The Staff (מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ – meshantecha) is a stick that one leans on for comfort and support.

But did you know what David meant when he wrote “Thou anointest my head with oil” and “my cup runneth over”? The historical context is illuminating.

In ancient times in the Middle East, a vial of oil was kept by the door for very special visitors. When a special guest arrived, the host would honour him by putting a few drops of oil on his head, indicating how much he was welcome and how special he was. This is how God sees each and every one of us, and how He responds to our prayers to Him.

Also, in those times, people were far more hospitable than they are now. When we moved into our present home, it took four years before the neighbors would even deign to greet us! In South Africa, we would welcome neighbours with flowers and a big pot of tea and cake on the day they moved in. (Koek en tee.)

But in the time of David, any stranger would be welcomed at the door and invited in for food and drink. As the family questioned the stranger over the meal, they would size him up and decide whether or not he was a good person. When it came to serving the wine, the host would indicate just how welcome he was by the amount he poured into the stranger’s goblet. A half goblet meant, “OK, friend, when you’ve finished your meal, you’re welcome to leave.”

But if the host liked the stranger and wanted him to enjoy more food and drink and company, he would fill the goblet to the top. In order to invite the stranger to spend the night as well, a little more wine would be added so that the cup would overflow.

That is how God welcomes us in the name of Christ. Our cups overflow. That is how pleased he is to converse with us, how much He loves us and cares for us. We are always welcomed into His presence and encouraged to linger there. He wants the best for us, as does any loving parent, so he will do what is best for us in an eternal perspective. When He doesn’t give you what you want, it’s because He has better things in store for you.

Psalm 23 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I thought you might enjoy the Matthew Henry Commentary as well:

23:1-6 Confidence in God’s grace and care. – “The Lord is my shepherd.” In these words, the believer is taught to express his satisfaction in the care of the great Pastor of the universe, the Redeemer and Preserver of men. With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that shepherd is Jehovah.

A flock of sheep, gentle and harmless, feeding in verdant pastures, under the care of a skillful, watchful, and tender shepherd, forms an emblem of believers brought back to the Shepherd of their souls. The greatest abundance is but a dry pasture to a wicked man, who relishes in it only what pleases the senses; but to a godly man, who by faith tastes the goodness of God in all his enjoyments, though he has but little of the world, it is a green pasture.

The Lord gives quiet and contentment in the mind, whatever the lot is. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances, let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us abide in them. The consolations of the Holy Spirit are the still waters by which the saints are led; the streams which flow from the Fountain of living waters.

Those only are led by the still waters of comfort, who walk in the paths of righteousness. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. The work of righteousness in peace. In these paths we cannot walk, unless. God leads us into them, and lead us on in them. Discontent and distrust proceed from unbelief; an unsteady walk is the consequence: let us then simply trust our Shepherd’s care, and hearken to his voice. The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of Providence, that the psalmist ever could come under.

Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God’s people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side.

Death is a king of terrors, but not to the sheep of Christ. When they come to die, God will rebuke the enemy; he will guide them with his rod, and sustain them with his staff. There is enough in the gospel to comfort the saints when dying, and underneath them are the everlasting arms.

The Lord’s people feast at his table, upon the provisions of his love. Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy their comforts, while they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is ever full. Past experience teaches believers to trust that the goodness and mercy of God will follow them all the days of their lives, and it is their desire and determination, to seek their happiness in the service of God here, and they hope to enjoy his love for ever in heaven.

While here, the Lord can make any situation pleasant, by the anointing of his Spirit and the joys of his salvation. But those that would be satisfied with the blessings of his house, must keep close to the duties of it.

Robin Elliott

Your Success in Life and Business is Based on This

 

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Imagine being handed the real key to success – not in some overhyped, overpriced seminar by a conman in a pink suit and a ponytail, but at no cost. If you follow the logic below, you will have the key.

  1. We always have a choice. We choose what we do and how we react to whatever circumstances we are in – whether the consequences of our own bad choices or because of something or someone beyond our control. Even if you’re in a Nazi death camp, you have choices.
  2. Accepting the responsibility for the consequences of our choices is crucial. For example, you don’t get addicted like catching a cold; addiction is the result of numerous bad choices and you have created the dilemma you have to deal with. It’s not a disease. The same goes for all your bad choices. Blaming others, slavery, the White man, your ex spouse, etc., is the language of losers.
  3. If we claim to be victims, if we see ourselves as victims, we may be able to leverage a few Liberal handouts, Affirmative Action, or pity, but the power we get is short lived. Seeing yourself as a victim is a fast track to losing.
  4. If you agree with the above three points, and the results in our lives – what we achieve in every area of life – is the result of our own free choice, the next question is, why do we make the choices we make?
  5. The reason why we make any choice – good or bad – is our philosophy – the way we see and interpret our past, our present circumstances, and opportunities. This makes us decide what choices to make.
  6. Along with our philosophy, our driving motivation – the meaning we give our lives and our circumstances, that is our purpose, will guide and drive us. If your motivation and meaning are strong enough, you can handle pretty much anything. The strongest meanings have to do with other people, not ourselves; helping others is a far stronger, longer lasting driving force than purely selfish goals. Personal material goals have less power than most realize.
  7. The right philosophy and purpose then, are the keys to success in life. They are like a compass, a GPS to happiness, freedom, and peace of mind. SO – how do you GET the right purpose and philosophy? Well, I could teach you how, but here’s how you can do it all by yourself:

1. Watch these videos: https://robinjelliott.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/some-videos-every-thinking-conservative-should-see/

2. Get rid of the losers and liars, pretenders and parasites in your life. Associate with successful, host, Godly people, and you will find that you will start to emulate their values, habits, ideas, philosophies – the very things that made them successful.

3. Read the following books in this order. If you have already read the book, read it again. If you don’t like reading, listen to the audiobook. If that takes too long or you’re too lazy, I can help you.

  1. The Bible
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  5. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
  6. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  7. 1984 by George Orwell
  8. The True Believer by Eric Hofer

These 7 books (there are many more that I could suggest) and videos will help you create a powerful, positive, realistic philosophy of life. You will attain a level of understanding that few others have.

By designing your life around the principles in the Bible alone will ensure a successful life, however many people have been disappointed by religions and Christian cults, leaders, and denominations who have distorted the meaning of the Bible for their own selfish, greedy purposes.

I suggest you read the Bible on your own if that is the case. You know, even if God didn’t exist, the guidance provided in the Bible would still work exceedingly well! But He does exist and He is faithful to honour your attitude and work, and if you ask Him, you will be amazed at what He will do for and with you.

I am 66 years old, and I can trace all my bad choices in life back to being against the principles in the Bible. That means my life would have been much better had I used the Bible as my guidebook.

James 4:8 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

Robin Elliott

Finding Meaning in Hard Times

Dr. Viktor Frankl was interviewed by a South African woman many years ago who asked him what message he had for South Africa, given the troubles we were experiencing and the bleak future we faced. He replied using his personal example of his time in Auschwitz.

He said the statistical chance he had of surviving and not being gassed to death in Auschwitz was one in only twenty-nine. He told himself, “Viktor, the chances are very, very low and small. Probably, you will be sent to the gas chamber. And still, there is nobody that can guarantee me and convince me with 100% certainty that I shall not survive but end in the gas chamber. As long as I have no guarantee that I will have to die within the next days, I will continue behaving and acting as if I was spared this fate.”

He speaks about The Defiant Power of the Human Spirit and the fact that Despair = Suffering Without Meaning. Watch the interview below. Here is a genius who has the credibility of personal experience. I highly recommend his outstanding book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” which I have read twice and heard on audiobook twice as well.

Robin Elliott

A Man Who Never Gave Up

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John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, by the end of his life, was described as “the best loved man in England”. In 2002, he placed at number 50 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

From Wikipedia: “Because of his charitable nature he died poor, leaving as the result of his life’s work 135,000 members and 541 itinerant preachers under the name “Methodist”. It has been said that ‘when John Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman’s gown’ and the Methodist Church. Wesley wrote, edited or abridged some 400 publications. As well as theology he wrote about music, marriage, medicine, abolitionism and politics.”

But it wasn’t all easy. Wesley persisted against great odds, fighting as he was against entrenched religious power and beliefs. See some extracts from his journal:

1738
Sunday a.m., May 7, preached in St. Lawrence’s, was asked not to come back anymore.
Sunday p.m., May 7, preached at St. Katherine Cree’s church, deacons said, “Get out and stay out.”
Sunday a.m., May 14, preached at St. Ann’s, can’t go back there either.
Sunday afternoon, May 21, preached at St. John’s, kicked out again.
Sunday evening, May 21, preached at St. somebody else’s, Bennet’s maybe, deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.

1739

Tuesday, May 8, afternoon service, preached in a pasture in Bath, 1,000 people came to hear me.
Sunday, September 9, preached to 10,000 people three weeks in a row in Moorfields.

1742 

Friday, March 10, preached in meadow, chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during the services.

Robin Elliott

Stop Giving Permission to Failure

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I heard a preacher on my favorite radio station (550AM in Vancouver) tell how, mere months after a spectacular wedding and expensive honeymoon, the newlyweds looked bored – they had both dropped their facades and revealed their true selves. I guess he got lazy and she cut her hair, got fat, and thought she’d caught the fish, so why keep fishing…

Like the man who joined a cult after being convinced that it was just a different brand of Christianity, only to find that when the honeymoon of hugs, invitations to dinners, and exciting new information was over, the real agenda slowly but surely began to be revealed, and along with it an increasing divergence from authentic, Biblical Christianity, with all its legalism, demands, and juvenile, carrot-and-stick rules.

Or the couple who see their debts rising, their income slowing, and no change in sight. When we see our situation deteriorating, when we see people no longer doing what they promised to do and tricks being played, when things are no longer what they seemed to be, we need to make new choices.

We know that what we allow will continue, and what we permit, we promote. Yet too many of us hope things will miraculously change. That increasingly obese husband of yours whose diets always stop and end up in even greater fleshiness is going to suffer from bad knees, a bad back, hip replacements, diabetes, and heart failure, trundling around in an electric wheelchair and requiring more and more of your money and help. Enabling him hasn’t worked.

So stop giving permission to your own failure. Walk away. Resign. Divorce him or her. Cut Bait. Move on. Burn bridges. Reinvent yourself. We care too much about the opinions of others and “what people will say,” and we get stuck on the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

Stop being Mr. Nice Guy. Reevaluate your goals and your life regularly and take responsibility; you are a free person with free will; there’s a big, wide world full of opportunities out there, and it’s never too late to change. A decision, courage, and commitment is your bridge to a better life.

Robin Elliott

The Consequences of Liberalism

Mephistophelian, effeminate, depraved, childish leaders, women who are like men and men who are like women, women who dress like harlots, and uncontrollable children who are rude to adults. The fall of a great nation that has turned her back on God, that glorifies sin, that distorts Christian values, is described and foretold right here in the Bible:

Isaiah 3 King James Version (KJV)

For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.

The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,

The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.

And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:

In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.

For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

13 The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

14 The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.

16 Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:

17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,

19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,

20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,

21 The rings, and nose jewels,

22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,

23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.

24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.

Western countries will answer for their sins.

Robin Elliott

Finding Meaning and Purpose

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In a conversation on Saturday with a man who has no real direction, ambition, or hope in his life, I realized that he is the epitome of Frankl’s Collective Neurosis of Nihilism.

If colleges and schools, churches, and book clubs were to seriously examine “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl and seek to apply his principles of logotherapy and the understanding attained by this reading, the world would be a better place. We would have fewer whiners, less blaming of others and our circumstances for our choices, and better choices all around.

A collective neurosis – an existential neurosis exists today which can be described, says Viktor Frankl, as a private and personal form of nihilism.

This is the idea that being has no meaning. He writes, “[This is] the theory that man is nothing but the result of biological, psychological, and sociological conditions, all a product of heredity and environment… that he is the pawn of outer influences or inner circumstances. This neurotic fatalism is fostered and strengthened by a psychotherapy which denies that man is free. To be sure, a human being is a finite thing, and his freedom is restricted. It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.

The evidence of this nihilism – the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless – is all around us in a world where people seek to find meaning in materialism, fascism, depravity, and endless, mindless entertainment – escapism writ large. Our Western civilization was built on the tenets of Christianity, the target of today’s media and politicians, to the point where IQ, gender, race, and God are all denied.

What was my message to this man who has no sense of purpose, no values bedrock? I said, “Even if the Bible were not true and there was no God, anyone following the guidance of the Bible would enjoy an infinitely better, happier, more successful, and more prosperous journey in every aspect of life than one who did not.

“In my own life, I can ascribe this truth to all my bad choices and their consequences. However, if the Bible is true and God exists, you will know, as I do, the joy, assurance, peace of mind and guidance of His Holy Spirit in your life. As an Atheist who was previously a Christian, I made the hard choice to believe again, and it paid off like a jackpot.” James 4:8: Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.

The verity of this suggestion of mine is evident throughout the ages.

Robin Elliott

Three Men Walk into a Bar: An Optimist, a Pessimist, and Realist.

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In today’s world, it’s easy to hide one’s timidity and denial behind materialism, Atheism, and Liberalism. It’s easy to throw up your arms: “I quit! There’s no hope” or to drink the Kool-Aid and live in cloud cuckoo land, or to think someone else will solve your problems for you. Accepting reality, however, takes courage and demands decisions, yet the rewards are substantial.

When the writing is on the wall, delusion is an easy choice. One can hide in false hope or withdrawal. When I tell people who have lived in comfort, prosperity, and safety all their lives to prepare for the worst but to expect the best, they look at me as though I’m one of the “Conspiracy Theorists.” After all, isn’t it easier to ascribe any information that doesn’t support your belief system to “crazy conspiracies” or heresy?

The government, your children, your friends, your church – anyone who depends on these for help when hard times strike unexpectedly is choosing the way of the parasite and the loser and they are in for disappointments. Those who choose to be rescued and bailed out will be shocked when reality hits.

Test yourself: Consider how you view the following words of Christ:

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.  - Gospel of Luke 22:36-38, NIV

Pacifists will “turn the other cheek” (taken out of context and misunderstood by most Christians – see below) and those who live in denial will think, “God will help me, provide for me and protect me – I don’t have to prepare.”

When I tell people to prepare for hard times and I suggest we need five things: God, Guts, Gold, Groceries, and Guns, in that order, they chuckle, yet Jesus teaches exactly that. Most churches are so satiated with Liberalism, Altruism, Pacifism, anti-White rhetoric, and Ecumenism that they have forgotten or ignore reality.

Government-designed Dysgenics through social engineering have lowered the average IQ, bloated personal debt, and created a bunch of materialistic, obese, lazy, androgynous men who are too politically correct, godless and brainwashed to be able to withstand their sworn enemy that is being imported by their own governments to obtain votes.

The Optimist hopes things will get better and his cognitive dissonance is his own worst enemy. The Pessimist just quits, watches more sport and eats more junk food. The Realist works on his relationship with God and improves himself mentally, socially, materially, financially and physically, so that when – WHEN the bad times hit, he copes. He’s not there to rescue losers, parasites, and deniers; in fact, those are the people who hate him the most.

This excellent article reveals what “an eye for an eye” and “turn the other cheek” really means.

Also, the weaklings who claim anything that reveals an uncomfortable truth is being “judgemental” refuse to acknowledge truth and reality should read this article. But atheists and weaklings have three favorite verses in the Bible:  “Judge not lest you be judged”, “He who is without sin cast the first stone”, and “God is love”.  Why are these his favorites?  Because they allow the atheist to escape accountability to God and the weakling to avoid conflict and reality.

In fact, Jesus judged, the apostles judged, John the Baptist judged, and we are commanded to judge. Non-judgmentalism is, according to this article and the Bible, amoral, inconsistent with scripture, and irrational.

The pessimist complains about the wind or ignores it. The optimist blindly expects it to change. The realist adjusts his sails accordingly.

Prepare: Dig the well before you thirst.

Robin Elliott

Your Suffering Has Meaning: Allocate Meaning to It.

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When our suffering, be it emotional or physical, temporary or permanent, subsiding or expanding, seems to us to be meaningless and overpowering, depression follows: “Why me? There’s no hope – I can’t cope.” However, we can ascribe meaning and value to our suffering, and this can change everything.

I was listening again to the audio version of Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” – his discussion on his logotherapy at the end of his book that describes his horrific time in Auschwitz – and he mentioned verse eight of Psalm 56, David’s prayer to God, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (New Living Translation.) Sorrows here can also be translated as wanderings, mental restlessness, the “tossings to and fro of the mind,” “my inmost things,” and the “occurrences in my life.” 

David knows that God is aware of our suffering and knows us intimately, that, in fact, “the very hairs of our head are numbered,” (Matthew 10:30), and that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

By allocating meaning to our suffering, we can see it as a task, as a challenge, as a victory to be won in the way we courageously handle our torment. Is it a way to strengthen our faith in Him, or to equip us to help others in dire circumstances, or to be an example to our loved ones? Is it to increase our understanding of God and spirituality, life, the meaning of life, our priorities? Are your tears a sacrifice to Him? Is it to set a good example or encouragement for someone who is yet to suffer? I don’t know, but He can reveal this to you.

Your suffering is never by accident and never wasted or forgotten. There is a reason for it, even though we may not understand God’s reason for allowing it, but we know that we certainly will be able to handle it and that it will never become unbearable: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

I encourage you to consider altering your perception of your suffering; it could make a huge and valuable difference in your life. Don’t worry if it doesn’t become clear immediately; patiently pray and ask God to reveal His will and purpose for your suffering. Remember Job’s story.

Harmer’s Observations, volume 2, pp. 121, 122: “The expression, “Put thou my tears into thy bottle,” may be viewed as simply meaning, Let not my tears fall unnoticed; let my distress and the tears which it has wrung from me be ever before thee, excite thy compassion, and plead with thee to grant me relief. As the choicest things, such as wine and milk, were put into bottles, the Psalmist may also be understood as praying that his tears might not only be noted by God, but prized by him. The m’d, nod, was of large capacity, and used for churning as well as for wine. It may therefore contain a reference to the large quantity of tears which David’s affliction forced from him.”

Robin Elliott